There are so many diseases in the world today that continue to spread because people are not aware of their causes, symptoms and effects. One of these diseases includes the herpes simplex, which is usually characterized by the formation of lesions in areas of the body. It is a viral disease caused by two viruses namely herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) and herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2).
The herpes simplex disease can be categorized into different classifications based on the site of infection. The most common form of herpes is the oral herpes which is characterized by the formation of cold sores in the mouth and in the face. Second to the oral herpes is the genital herpes which is a sexually transmitted disease which is also referred to as herpes. Herpes simplex viruses can also cause other disorders namely keratitis or ocular herpes, neonatal herpes, encephalitis, herpes gladiatorum, cerebral herpes infection and Bell’s palsy.
Oral herpes can be easily determined in persons who don’t have previous history of lesions and no experience of contact with another person who is infected with HSV-1. The lesions that are observed in the mouth would be round superficial oral ulcers. Acute gingivitis also accompanies these lesions in the mouth.
Lesions may also be symptoms of other diseases so it is quite hard to diagnose a person who already experienced having a lesion. To differentiate HSV from other diseases, prodromal symptoms that occur prior to the appearance of HSV lesions are observed. Sometimes, when these lesions are not observed inside the mouth, oral herpes is sometimes mistakenly diagnosed as impetigo which is a common bacterial infection.
It is harder to give a diagnosis to people who suffer from genital herpes. This is because there are no classical or usual symptoms for this disease. Sometimes, herpes is confused with urethritis, atopic dermatitis and lichen planus. To be completely sure of the diagnosis, laboratory testing for the presence of herpes is performed. The tests for herpes include skin biopsy and culture of the virus. Direct fluorescent antibody or DFA is also performed to detect the presence of HSV-2 virus. In addition, polymerase chain reaction or PCR may also be done to test for the existence of viral DNA.
Scientists are still undergoing research on the cure for herpes. They have come up with herpes vaccines but, unfortunately, these have not been successful in eliminating the herpes simplex virus. Until now, there is still no cure for this spreading disease. The best move to do is to take preventive measures most especially to sexually active persons. Proper use of contraceptives like condoms would really be a big help in avoiding the attack of HSV in the body. In addition, it is advised to visit a STD clinic regularly and check for the symptoms of different sexually transmitted diseases. A person who is always cautious of his actions will be less susceptible to diseases. Lastly, a person who is well informed and well aware of these diseases will most likely be more careful. Thus, he or she will not be easily attacked by HSV and other related viruses.